Working Visit of the National Leader of the Turkmen People, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan to the Republic of Kazakhstan
The National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made a working visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan to participate in the 10th Summit of the Council of Heads of State of the Organisation of Turkic States.
Before leaving for Astana, at the International Airport of the capital, the Hero-Arkadag talked with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan Askar Tazhibayev. During the conversation, the traditionally friendly nature of the interstate dialogue and progressive dynamics in a wide range of areas were noted. As it was emphasised, our countries interact effectively in both bilateral and multilateral formats. The diplomat wished the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty a successful visit to Kazakhstan and participation in the OTS Summit.
One of the clearest proofs of this is the fruitful dialogue with the Organisation of Turkic States. The Turkmen people share common historical roots, cultural and spiritual traditions with the peoples of the OTS participating countries. Today, productive relations among the member states of this structure are distinguished by a qualitatively new content, which creates good opportunities for intensifying multifaceted contacts.
The activities of the Turkic Council, established in 2009, are aimed at strengthening peace and stability, expanding partnerships and realising the potential of the OTS member states. In November 2021, at the Seventh Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States held in Istanbul, this structure was renamed the Organisation of Turkic States. Its members are the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Türkiye and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Hungary has observer status in the OTS. The same status was granted to our country in 2021, which marked the beginning of a new stage of the traditionally friendly interstate interaction.
Turkmenistan regularly takes part in meetings of heads of Turkic states and puts forward constructive initiatives aimed at developing coordinated approaches to productive partnerships built for the long term and meeting the interests of the OTS member-countries.
The Summit, held under the motto “Turk Time”, has become an important platform for discussion at the highest level of current issues on the Organisation’s agenda. Its main goals were to promote peace and stability in the region and to deepen cooperation among Turkic-speaking countries connected by their common historical and cultural heritage.
...Upon arrival at Nursultan Nazarbayev Astana International Airport, the Hero-Arkadag was met by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alihan Smaiylov, other officials of the fraternal country and members of the delegation of Turkmenistan.
Then the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty proceeded to the Akorda Palace.
There, in the foyer, the Hero-Arkadag was warmly welcomed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The Summit Meeting was preceded by a traditional ceremony of official joint photographing.
Then, negotiations between the National Leader of the Turkmen people and the Head of the Republic of Kazakhstan took place in the Eastern Hall.
Once again warmly welcoming the distinguished guest, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev thanked the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan for accepting the invitation to visit Kazakhstan and noted that visit was considered as a significant event in the development of interstate relations and would contribute to their further strengthening.
Particularly noting the personal contribution of the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty to the development of the fruitful interaction, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasised that in Kazakhstan, Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was known as the national leader of Turkmenistan, one of the outstanding statesmen of our time. In this regard, the great practical and political significance of that day’s meeting was stated, as it provided a good opportunity to specify the priority vectors of partnership between our countries, based on current trends and plans for the future, the head of the friendly state said.
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan were fraternal and neighbouring countries, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed, confirming their readiness to deepen the interstate dialogue meeting common interests.
Then the National Leader of the Turkmen people expressed deep gratitude to the Head of Kazakhstan for the invitation, warm welcome, hospitality and opportunity to meet on the side-lines of the anniversary, Tenth Summit of the Council of Heads of State of the OTS. In this regard, confidence was expressed that the following Summit Meeting and the decisions taken within its framework would contribute to the further development of interaction among the member countries of the Organisation.
In continuation, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted Turkmenistan had received with deep sorrow the news of an incident at a mine in the Karaganda region of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which had resulted in numerous casualties and injuries. Taking the opportunity, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty, on his own behalf and on behalf of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, once again expressed sincere condolences and conveyed words of sympathy and support at that difficult moment to the families and friends of the victims and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.
As part of the exchange of views on the current state and prospects of Turkmenistan–Kazakhstan dialogue, the interlocutors noted with satisfaction that over the years of independence, fruitful interaction had been established in political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas. As it was noted, those relations had reached a qualitatively new level, having the character of a strategic partnership. In this context, it was emphasised that the meeting was intended to give an additional impetus to increasing cooperation between the two countries.
At the same time, emphasis was placed on the decisive role of the bilateral contacts at the highest level. The good and trusting relations between the heads of the two states give a systematic character to the mutually beneficial cooperation.
Our countries closely interact within the framework of authoritative international and regional structures, which is among the priorities in Turkmenistan–Kazakhstan political dialogue. In this regard, the National Leader of the Turkmen people and the President of Kazakhstan especially noted the coincidence or similarity in many positions of the two countries on current issues of the global and regional agenda.
Stressing that our states provided mutual support for each other’s constructive initiatives and proposals, the interlocutors agreed on the advisability of continuing that course to further strengthen contacts at the international level.
One of the key areas of the partnership between Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is the trade and economic sphere. Appropriate steps are being taken to build up productive contacts in this area. At the same time, it was noted that there was a significant untapped potential in trade relations, which must be used to increase trade turnover by $1 billion.
In this regard, the subject of a detailed discussion was the specific measures proposed by Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and aimed at strengthening trade and economic cooperation. In particular, they discussed the intensification of the activities of the Working Group to increase trade turnover and to expand the range of supplied goods between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan and the holding of the first meeting of the Turkmen-Kazakh Business Council. It was also proposed to consider the possibility of opening trading houses of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in the capitals of the two states and to begin studying the creation of a cross-border trade centre between both countries on the border of the Balkan velayat of Turkmenistan and the Mangystau region of Kazakhstan.
One of the topics of the meeting was the transport sector, which has been and remains a strategic vector of interstate cooperation. As it was noted, joint efforts were creating favourable conditions for enhancing freight and passenger traffic between countries and with other regions of the Eurasian continent.
In this regard, the relevance of further coordinated measures for the full use of the potential of the Kazakhstan–Turkmenistan–Iran transcontinental railway communication was stated. Along with this, the effectiveness of creating a transport corridor China–Kazakhstan–Turkmenistan–Iran along the route of the ancient Silk Road with access to the ports of the Persian Gulf was highlighted. The interlocutors also spoke in favour of expanding the volume of transportation between the ports of Turkmenbashi and Aktau.
As part of the exchange of views on the possibilities of strengthening partnership in the energy sector, one of the key areas of the interstate cooperation, Turkmenistan’s readiness to intensify the bilateral dialogue on the supply of Turkmen natural gas to Kazakhstan was confirmed. For these purposes, the expediency of organising a meeting in the near future between the relevant ministries and companies of the two countries was noted.
Continuing, the interlocutors stated there were good opportunities to increase the potential of partnership in the electric power industry. In this regard, the National Leader of the Turkmen people informed President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev that day the Head of Turkmenistan launched the construction of a power plant with a capacity of 1,574 MW in the Balkan velayat. The new facility would be built on the shores of the Caspian Sea, approximately 250 kilometres from the Turkmen-Kazakh frontier and would become an additional option for organising the supply of Turkmen electricity to Kazakhstan, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
Cultural and humanitarian cooperation occupies a special place in the bilateral relations. The commonality of history, traditions, language and spiritual values is a component of the strong foundation of the friendly relations. As it was stressed, representatives of the sphere of culture and art regularly participated in international events organised in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan; Culture Days, Cinema Days, joint concerts, conferences, exhibitions and festivals were held. All this serves to bring the two fraternal peoples closer and to strengthen the multifaceted cultural dialogue.
Noting that quite a lot of time had passed since the organisation of the previous Days of Culture, the Hero-Arkadag proposed holding the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in Kazakhstan in 2024.
Taking the opportunity, the National Leader of the Turkmen people thanked the head of the neighbouring state for the initiative to erect a monument to the great Turkmen thinker, poet and philosopher Magtymguly Pyragy in the city of Astana.
At the same time, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov informed President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev that a monument to the thinker, scientist, philosopher and great poet of the Kazakh people Abay Kunanbayuly would be erected on the territory of Magtymguly Pyragy cultural and park complex, which was under construction. In this context, it was proposed to hold joint events devoted to the memory of outstanding personalities of the two countries.
Continuing the topic, the Hero-Arkadag noted that in the following year the 300th birth anniversary of the great Turkmen poet and thinker of the East Magtymguly Pyragy would be celebrated. Within the framework of the International Organisation of Turkic Culture TURKSOY, 2024 has been declared the Year of Magtymguly Pyragy. In that regard, various meetings and forums would be held in our country and abroad, including those with the participation of that Organisation, the National Leader of the Turkmen people said, inviting Kazakh friends to take an active part in those events.
The Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov thanked President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for his personal contribution to the development of the interstate relations, wishing strong health, happiness and every success in government activities to him, and peace, progress and prosperity to the brotherly people of Kazakhstan.
The Hero-Arkadag also expressed his conviction that the traditionally fraternal ties, thanks to the joint efforts of the parties, would continue to dynamically develop and deepen in the spirit of mutually beneficial partnership and for the benefit of the two countries and peoples.
At the end of the meeting, the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed confidence that their meeting within the framework of the Summit of the Council of Heads of State of the OTS would be another important step towards the further optimisation of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan and a significant contribution to strengthening trust and mutual understanding on both regional and global scales.
Then the Hero-Arkadag took part in the anniversary, Tenth Summit of the Council of Heads of State of the Organisation of Turkic States.
Before the start of the high-level meeting, a ceremony of joint photographing of the heads of delegations of the OTC participating countries took place.
Opening the Summit, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev once again warmly welcomed the guests of honour and expressed gratitude for their participation in the event.
The Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States had become a full-fledged international organisation, the Head of Kazakhstan said, placing special emphasis on the fact that the participating states had demonstrated to the whole world their commitment to common values. At the same time, it was stressed that the goal was to preserve unity, based on mutual trust and brotherhood, and pass it on to future generations. It was noted that the Turkic world interacted with global powers on equal terms, and other states respected the key guidelines of the Organisation. In this context, the importance of expanding interaction among Turkic peoples was discussed.
Speaking to the participants of the Summit, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, first of all, expressed deep gratitude to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the invitation to take part in that day’s meeting, the conditions, created for organising the event at a high level, and warm hospitality.
The Hero-Arkadag expressed confidence that the Summit would contribute to the further development of political and diplomatic, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian ties among our countries and the identification of new tasks for the future in those areas.
It was further noted that political contacts among the member states of the Organisation of Turkic States were at a high level. Our countries, supporting each other, effectively interact in both bilateral and multilateral formats and within the framework of the United Nations and other authoritative international structures. In those difficult times, such close relationships were acquiring special significance, the Hero-Arkadag said.
As it is known, in recent years, the system of international relations has been going through a difficult period of its development. Complex political and strategic situations are taking place in different parts of the world, including the regions close to our countries. As a result, the world community is faced with all sorts of global challenges and threats.
To overcome these complex cataclysms that have a negative impact on the system of global peace and security, it is important for states to consolidate efforts, to carefully assess the emerging political situations and to make the necessary decisions.
In this context, the National Leader of the Turkmen people emphasised that relying on the norms of international law and, first of all, the Charter of the United Nations, it was necessary to create effective mechanisms to combat emerging threats, to establish joint work and to develop specific approaches and plans.
In this regard, Turkmenistan, guided by the point of view of the indivisibility and integrity of security, put forward an initiative to develop a Strategy for Universal Security at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.
For the practical implementation of that initiative, the Turkmen party considered it appropriate to use three principles, in particular, preventive diplomacy, the possibilities of the neutrality mechanism and a culture of dialogue based on trust, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
We were confident, the National Leader of the Turkmen people said, that the Strategy would promote strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation, resolving pressing issues facing the world community and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
In this context, the firm conviction was expressed that the member countries of the Organisation of Turkic States would provide support in the practical implementation of that important initiative that Turkmenistan had launched in the Community of Nations.
Regarding the international criteria for partnership, the Hero-Arkadag noted that, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, the entire history of humankind confirmed there were no winners in war. An arrow fired will not come back; it does not choose victims, be it a child or a soldier. In this regard, the readiness of neutral Turkmenistan to support the initiative of the Turkish leader and to provide humanitarian aid was confirmed.
At the same time, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed to adopt the Cooperation Programme of the countries of the Organisation of Turkic States for 2024–2025 for systemic interaction within international organisations.
With regard to the trade and economic vector, it was noted that Turkmenistan considered it expedient to intensify contacts within the framework of the OTS. At the same time, transport, energy, trade, production cooperation and other sectors were named among the areas uniting our states.
In general, as the Hero-Arkadag emphasised, we considered it necessary, in accordance with the requirements of the time, to fully and effectively use the economic capabilities of the Turkic states, acting in concert with the main trends of world development.
An important place in interstate relations was given to transport and logistics, the National Leader of the Turkmen people continued, drawing the attention of the Summit participants that in the current climate of general instability, one of the key tasks was the creation of modern transport, transit and logistics systems connecting our states and widely ramified beyond their borders.
In this direction, in recent years, Turkmenistan has come up with a number of large infrastructure projects that unite Asia and Europe, in the implementation of which countries, belonging to the Organisation of Turkic States, also actively participate.
As it was noted, in 2017, in accordance with the relevant Agreement signed in Ashgabat, the Afghanistan–Turkmenistan–Azerbaijan–Georgia–Turkey transport corridor had been created. Currently, every effort is being made to use this transport route to its full capacity.
Also in March 2019, on the initiative of Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea–Black Sea transport corridor was created and a corresponding multilateral document was signed.
In addition, work is underway to form the Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan–Turkmenistan transport corridor with access to the Caspian Sea, which will then extend to Azerbaijan, and from there – to Turkey.
The above examples vividly confirmed the relevance and effectiveness of the Trans-Caspian transport corridor being created with the participation of the Turkic states, the Hero-Arkadag said, proposing to use the potential of the logistics and infrastructure system of Turkmenistan in order to enhance transport and transit communications.
Energy was identified as another important area.
It was stressed that having rich oil and gas fields, Turkmenistan pursues a policy of reliable and safe export of energy resources to the world market. In particular, Turkmen natural gas and electricity are supplied to neighbouring countries and states in the region.
In that direction, close cooperation had been established with the member countries of the Organisation of Turkic States, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stated, noting that Turkmenistan sent natural gas to neighbouring Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
Speaking about the potential for transporting Turkmen natural gas through the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, Türkiye, and in the future bringing it to world markets, the National Leader of the Turkmen people expressed confidence that in the very near future all necessary issues would be jointly resolved and relevant work would be carried out.
Touching upon the topic of electricity, the Hero-Arkadag said Turkmenistan exported electricity to the fraternal countries of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and further supplies through the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and Türkiye were possible.
The Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty also emphasised that on the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea, near the city of Turkmenbashi, the foundation of a new modern power plant with a capacity of 1,574 megawatts had been laid.
In continuation, the expediency of the preparation by the participating countries of the OTS of a Roadmap for the development of cooperation in the energy sector was expressed to intensify and legally consolidate the ongoing joint activities.
Particular emphasis was placed on cultural and humanitarian relations, taking an important place on the agenda of multilateral cooperation among Turkic states that have similar history, culture, language and traditions.
The close cooperation established in this area is developing on the basis of friendship and brotherhood, mutual respect, trust and support for each other. As a result of strengthening partnerships in the fields of culture, art, science, education and sports, favourable conditions are created for the rapprochement of our countries and peoples.
In this regard, the National Leader of the Turkmen people proposed to regularly hold bilateral and multilateral cultural events, in particular, joint Days of Culture of the Turkic States.
At the same time, contacts at the level of the International Organisation of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) were developing at a high level, the Hero-Arkadag stated with satisfaction, noting the significant activities of TURKSOY in the cultural and humanitarian direction and the advisability of expanding the joint events held within its framework.
Due to the fact that a number of international events are planned for 2024 to mark the 300th birth anniversary of the great Turkmen classical poet and thinker Magtymguly Pyragy and the proclamation of the ancient Turkmen city of Anau as the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World, great importance is attached to international cooperation, in particular, joint work with Turkic peoples. Taking this opportunity, the National Leader of the Turkmen people invited everyone to take part in the forthcoming celebrations to be held in the following year.
At the same time, the expediency of strengthening cooperation in the fields of science, education, health care, sports and other areas was highlighted. In particular, it was proposed to intensify contacts among research institutes, higher education institutions and leading scientific centres.
At the end of his speech, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, expressing firm confidence that the Summit, being a significant event, would give an impetus to the further development of relations among the Turkic states, wished every success in their responsible activity to the meeting participants and wellbeing and prosperity to the fraternal peoples.
The current Chairman of the Organisation, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Turkic States Kubanychbek Omuraliev also spoke at the Summit.
The participants of the high-level meeting spoke for the need to strengthen cooperation in all areas and to make efforts to increase the authority of the Organisation.
Among the main initiatives put forward, the establishment of a Turkic investment fund, aimed at supporting entrepreneurs in the participating countries of the OTS, should be noted. Much attention will also be paid to intensifying partnerships in the field of logistics and transport communications.
During the Summit, the chairmanship in this structure was passed on to Kazakhstan.
In his concluding remarks, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted the chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Organisation would be held under the motto “Turk Time!”, which reflects eight priorities: Traditions, Unification, Reforms, Knowledge, Trust, Investments, Mediation and Energy. In his speech, the head of the neighbouring state dwelled upon each of them in detail.
As a result of the Summit, new goals and objectives were set before the Organisation.
At the end of the working visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Hero-Arkadag proceeded to Nursultan Nazarbayev Astana International Airport.
There, the National Leader of the Turkmen people was seen off by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alihan Smaiylov and other officials of the fraternal country.
Upon arrival at Ashgabat International Airport, the Hero-Arkadag was met by officials.
There, the National Leader of the Turkmen people talked with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan. The diplomat cordially congratulated the Hero-Arkadag on his successful working visit.
It was noted that the visit of the Hero-Arkadag had become a new stage in strengthening the consistently developing cooperation in various areas between the two fraternal countries.
The Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed the OTS Summit had given an impetus to strengthening friendly relations among the countries of the Turkic world. Turkmenistan would continue to contribute to the practical implementation of the initiatives put forward within the framework of the high-level meeting, the Hero-Arkadag said.
As it was emphasised, the decisions made at the Summit were of great importance in terms of the full-scale use of the economic opportunities of the Turkic countries.
At the end of the conversation, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed confidence in the further expansion of Turkmenistan–Kazakhstan cooperation.